The Sámi parliament of Finland is located in Inari. Photo: Atle Staalesen

Finnish Court annuls 2023 Sámi elections

The vote must be considered invalid because a significant number of individuals had been omitted from the election list, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland decides.
March 27, 2024


According to the court, 72 people had been omitted from the election list and the mistake is likely to have affected the election result. The individuals did not get the opportunity to participate in the nomination process or to vote in the elections. 

The elections to the Sámi Parliament of Finland were held in October 2023. The parliament is a legislative assembly that decides over key issues of importance for the indigenous people. There are similar assemblies in northern Norway and Sweden.

New elections will have to be held, the Court informs.

The decision is made after the Supreme Administrative Court had received more than one hundred complaints regarding the election list and election results in the Sámi district elections.

It is a serious situation, the leader of the assembly admits.

“We will study the decisions of the Supreme Administrative Court carefully. Until the new elections, it is important to ensure that the daily activities of the Sámi Assembly can continue as normal, chairperson of the Sámi Assembly Pirita Näkkäläjärvi says in a statement.

She underlines that the assembly plays an important role for supporting all three Sámi languages in Finland, Sámi culture and all Sámi traditional livelihoods.


“Children and young people need learning materials. Cultural associations and cultural workers need support. All Sámi traditional livelihoods need to be strengthened. This work must not be disturbed for any reason,” says Näkkäläjärvi. 

According to Supreme Administrative Court, the members and deputy members of the Sámi legislative body that were elected in the annulled elections will remain in their positions until a new election is held.

In the renewed elections, the election list confirmed by the Sámi Parliamentary Election Board in the spring of 2023 is to be used, taking into account the 72 persons that the Supreme Administrative Court has now ordered to be included in the list.





The Barents Observer Newsletter

After confirming you're a real person, you can write your email below and we include you to the subscription list.

Privacy policy